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Marriage, Mexico and Porn: What You Should Know About the Republican Party Platform

Lauren McGaughy - The Dallas Morning News
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July 15, 2016
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New anti-Trump ads show people too uncomfortable to repeat his quotes outloud (WomenVOTEProject)

What do pornography, policing and public lands have in common? They're all the subject of planks in the Republican Party platform that were given their first stamp of approval this week by GOP delegates meeting in Cleveland.

The 60-plus page platform still has to be approved by full convention next week - and there a very slim chance the whole thing could be thrown out and replaced with a two page mission statement - but more likely than not, these will be the tenets of the Grand Old Party for the next four years.

The platform is not-binding, meaning it doesn't have the force of law and represents nothing more than a set of party beliefs. So what did the 112-member platform committee think was important enough to include? Here are six of the most-discussed issues.

A "Big, Beautiful Wall"

Many of the stances the platform committee approved broke with their presumptive party nominee, Donald Trump, but one thing they agreed on was perhaps what has become the defining watchword of the real estate mogul's campaign: a border wall. The wall must extend along the entire U.S.-Mexico border and be "must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic." The 2012 platform did not advocate for a wall, instead saying the "double-layered fencing" Congress approved a decade ago "must finally be built."

Gay Rights

Efforts by a small group of gay Republicans and their allies to soften the party's stance on gay rights failed this year. In fact, instead of including any positive mentions of the LGBT community, the party broke with its nominee and went further than it has in previous years to draw a ling between it and gay Americans.

As in 2012, the GOP still officially holds that marriage should be between one man and one woman, and that kids raised in such families are less likely to do drugs and more likely to succeed in school and life.

For the first time, this year's platform included implicit support for parents to submit their kids to so-called "reparative therapy" - a widely debunked practice that promises to convert people from gay to straight - and blasted the Obama administration for its stance on transgender rights.

Trump has stopped short of condemning gay marriage or transgender rights. After the U.S. Supreme Court decision, he said same-sex marriage was the law of the land, and has stood by Caitlyn Jenner during her very public transition. Transgender rights should be left up to the states, he's said.

Pornography and the Bible

For the first time, the GOP platform this year encourages public schools to offer a literature elective on the Bible, "a good understanding of the Bible being indispensable to the development of an educated citizenry." The debate over this plank occupied the most time of any issue the day it was discussed.

Pornography was also extolled as a "public health crisis" in the platform this year, an interesting stance given the party's nominee has appeared in Playboy.

Read the rest at The Dallas Morning News

Related: New GOP Platform Aims to Make the Christian Right Even More Powerful (The Huffington Post)

Related: Donald Trump on the Issues: Immigration, Gun Control, Taxes, More (AM New York)

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